Contact the Library

The Reader Services staff is available to answer questions about accessing MHS collections, preparing for a research visit, and other reference needs. The staff can be reached during library hours by telephone or email. Please note that all reference queries are answered in the order in which they are received. Due to the large volume of queries we receive, it can take up to two weeks for a staff member to contact you with an initial response.

When submitting a reference question, include your name and contact information, an explanation of your project or specific research interests, and a clear statement of your question(s). It is also helpful to inform the staff about sources you have previously consulted (institutions, books, collections, websites, etc.) when appropriate.

Please address your questions to:

E-mail: reference@masshist.org

Phone: (617) 646-0532

Fax: (617) 859-0074

Mail: Reader Services
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

Live Chat:

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If you require material from our offsite storage facility for an upcoming visit it is best to call 617-646-0532.

Upcoming Events

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar; Online Event

“Our Turn Next”: Slavery and Freedom on French and American Stages, 1789-99

6Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

As the French abolitionist movement gathered momentum alongside the Revolution, Parisians could have seen hundreds of theatrical performances on themes related ...

Online Event; Conversation

Clean Water, Green Space, and Social Equity

7Oct 5:30PM 2020
This is an online program

The chain of green spaces and waterways that comprise the Emerald Necklace park system is an invaluable urban oasis. Described as “the lungs of the city” this ...

History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar; Online Event

Queer Institutions – A Panel Discussion

8Oct 5:15PM 2020
This is an online program

This panel discussion considers the queer histories of two modern institutions: colleges and prisons. Marc Stein explores how activists at more than twenty colleges went ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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